Daily Bread for 6.4.23: On Book Banning, a Law to Restrict Worse Laws

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 82. Sunrise is 5:17 AM and sunset 8:29 PM for 15h 11m 45s of daytime. The moon is full with 99.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1876, an express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, via the First transcontinental railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City.

Judd Legum, writing at Popular Information, describes Illinois legislation Banning Book Bans

Illinois is poised to become the first state to ban book bans. Legislation approved by the Illinois legislature, which Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) is expected to sign imminently, establishes an official policy against book bans:

It is further declared to be the policy of the State to encourage and protect the freedom of libraries and library systems to acquire materials without external limitation and to be protected against attempts to ban, remove, or otherwise restrict access to books or other materials.

The policy has some teeth. The Illinois government provides about $62 million in funding to libraries around the state. Last year, this money was granted to 877 public libraries and 712 school libraries. In order to be eligible for these grants, a library must “adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights… or, in the alternative, develop a written statement prohibiting the practice of banning books or other materials within the library or library system.”

The American Library Association Bill of Rights states that libraries “should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.” Further, books and other materials “should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” Instead, libraries should be committed to “free expression and free access to ideas.” 

A libertarian perspective seldom calls for more legislation, but here one finds a suitable justification: local bans are constraints on individual liberty, and a state law against these constraints prevents restrictions in cities and towns. 

Wisconsin, of course, will not adopt similar legislation. 

That leaves liberty-minded residents in their respective communities to prepare against possible book banning. The conservative populists will light on issues to excite their ilk and inflict injury on their perceived adversaries. While they want their speech, the populists are quick to demand limits on others’ speech. They assert the demands of the mob, horde, and crowd to stifle and intimidate others. So much for liberty from these types — it’s not a defense of individual rights but an assertion of mob power that fuels their politics.    

An orderly process underlies preparations against efforts at local censorship. A declaration of what one believes, an enumeration of one’s concerns for the community, and a published, methodical process for addressing concerns.

Considered, composed, and committed. 

Rare sight: White bison calf born at state park

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